In Search of One's Own Language

First Crossings is a festival platform for discovering new film languages, created under the hat of the cross-border film festival Tribute to a Vision, organized by the audiovisual center Kinoatelje based in the cross-border town of Gorizia (Italy) and Nova Gorica (Slovenia). With its fourth edition on the way, First Crossings is again in search of aesthetically novel and innovative films, both from emerging and well-established authors who strive towards foundation of new film languages.

Taking place on the border region between Slovenia and Italy (Nova Gorica/Gorizia) the festival encourages film narratives that, one way or another, evoke the “border”; thus edgy, daring, queer cinema is prioritized and mostly welcome. Furthermore, this year we chose to have a thematic centerpiece revolving around the forest* in its widest context representation, be it philosophically or straightforwardly. Our interest, altogether, condenses the intersection between the border and the forest, accordingly, the representation of the forest in art and literature was often the other, the mysterious, or the unseen; likewise, we are in pursuit of “obscure” cinema.

As the previous years, we continue to encourage original, bold, and underrepresented ideas with social, dramatic, and transformative impact to draw attention towards the short audio-visual forms of all genres. Besides films and animations, experimental video forms such as video essays, video poetry, music videos, and video art are in loving spotlight. We also embrace student, low-budget, independent, offbeat films in all their variety.

*The phenomena of mass destruction of trees and whole ecosystems that revolve around them and also the outbreak of the coronavirus has put the forest in the foreground of (post)humanistic studies and artistic practices. The abstract capitalistic interpretation of the forest as lumber, dead trees, and consequently as a means of profit accumulation is being challenged every day. What seemed to be the most solid of all things, was deliberately dispersed and made ungraspable: an object of Wonder. Or as Giorgio Agamben wrote: ‘’There does not exist a forest as an objectively fixed environment: there exists a forest-for-the-park-ranger, a forest-for-the-hunter, a forest-for-the-botanist, a forest-for-the-wayfarer, a forest-for-the-nature-lover, a forest-for-the-carpenter, and finally a fable forest in which Little Red Riding Hood loses her way.’’ First Crossings is interested in a forest-for-the-filmmaker, in the cinematic modes the forest can be made unconcealed or how cinema can put into the open the forest and phusis that loves to hide, as Heraclitus supposedly said. And of course, the question, what can cinema itself learn from vegetal and animal life and the life of the forest? It is an interesting object of investigation in itself, but as it is a clear representative of what philosophers call the other, it can also be seen as a broad metaphor of our modern way of being: getting lost in the excess of digital information and internet; of a decentralized, rhizomatic way in which modern political power functions; of discovering an authentic self as a sort of a clearing in the urban jungle, etc.

More about the festival:

- Jury award (350 euros)
- Audience award (recognition)

The submission period for the 2021 First Crossings opens May 19, 2021, and closes August 25, 2020. All entries must be made by sending an online submission via FilmFreeway. The entry fee is 15 $ per submission, except for Slovenian or Italian-based authors and production companies for whom we offer a special 5 $ fee. Students have a special discount of 10 $ as well.


To submit a film, you must have created the project yourself, own the rights or have permission for the content to submit the film to us.

1. We do not accept any films made prior to 2018.
2. Every film must include English subtitles.
3. All fees are non-refundable.
4. Films must not be published or posted online (without a password) to be eligible for our festival, prizes, or awards.
5. All films are watched and evaluated by the festival’s selection team and if selected are competing for a jury award worth 350 euros.
6. All genres and formats up to 30 min. of length are welcome to be submitted.
7. A DCP copy of the film is not required, instead we favor a .mov or .mp4 with H.264 compression in 1920 x 1080 resolution (shorthand 1080p). As for the audio, we accept stereo and mono mixes, 24-bit PCM .wav file at 48kHz.
8. One entry fee is to be paid per film. The same author may apply with several films, but each work requires an entry fee.
9. By submitting your film, you authorize us to use, distribute and share the film materials on our web page on our social media, or for educational, promotional, and non-commercial purposes.
10. In case of an online edition of the festival on account of the ongoing epidemic you agree to have a temporary online broadcast of your film.